Economics at your fingertips  

Structural change and economic development in the Islamic Middle East 700–1500: Population levels and property rights

Maya Shatzmiller

Scottish Journal of Political Economy, 2022, vol. 69, issue 1, 4-22

Abstract: Economic historians have recently treated Islamic institutions as “growth retarding,” “averse to change,” “path dependent,” “lacking creative destruction” and “extractive” rather than “inclusive” and blamed their failure to change for the underdevelopment of the Middle East. This paper argues for a different approach to Islamic institutions which implies that they boosted economic growth. The paper explores changes in economic structures, a transition in population levels from high to low and a transition to individual property rights and provides economic indicators of growth. Articulated via Islamic law, legally sanctioned birth control and women's property rights were instrumental in assuring low fertility rates and equitable and well‐distributed income in the population. The paper concludes theoretically and empirically that Islamic institutions were innovative, amenable to change and efficient.

Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.blackwell ... bs.asp?ref=0036-9292

Access Statistics for this article

Scottish Journal of Political Economy is currently edited by Tim Barmby, Andrew Hughes-Hallett and Campbell Leith

More articles in Scottish Journal of Political Economy from Scottish Economic Society Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Wiley Content Delivery ().

Page updated 2022-05-07
Handle: RePEc:bla:scotjp:v:69:y:2022:i:1:p:4-22